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A Guide to Corporate Emergency Response Planning And Choosing A Workplace CPR Training Provider

Christine O'Kelly
Sep 5, 2008
Choosing a provider to teach your group life-saving CPR and first aid techniques can be a daunting task. How do you know that you're making the right choice for your company? Will your employees learn the correct skills to assist a victim of a medical emergency? Will your group feel confident and inspired to help others?

There are a variety of factors that must be taken into consideration when deciding to hire a firm to instruct in effective emergency response procedures. This guide includes 3 steps that should be taken to ensure that a company's CPR and first aid training efforts are handled by the correct service provider.

Step 1: Determine Budgetary Parameters and Program Costs

The financial feasibility of establishing any undertaking tends to be the primary concern for business owners and managers. New programs must be both cost efficient and derive the desired results. Thus, it is imperative to examine the company budget, and determine exactly how much can be spent on implementing a safety training program. Online industry research will enable one to better understand typical pricing brackets, and will aid business owners in establishing appropriate budgeting parameters for such programs.

CPR program prices can vary by geographical location. Thus, it is vital to ensure that the price quote received is specific to a company's city and state. For instance, a service provider in Florida may cost $10 or $15 per person more than a provider in Indiana (programs typically cost $75 per person). Some companies may also include hidden fees in their program prices. Travel and lodging expenses may be demanded by instructors after the cost has been negotiated. Thus, understanding billing procedures is of high importance: Some require payment upfront, while others accept payment upon completion of the training sessions. It is a good idea to find a company that offers all-inclusive prices, to ensure that there are no billing surprises after the CPR training program is completed.

Step 2: Evaluate the Dependability of a Service Provider

While CPR and first aid training programs are a client's main focus, the experience of the process is of equal importance. The level of customer service received will either enhance or hinder the overall experience. It is imperative that the company representative is able to answer all questions, or to refer inquiries to an affiliate if the answers are uncertain. The worst action that a service provider can do is to disregard inquiries or misinform a client!

Other service factors are of equal importance. Is it easy to reach your service provider? Or do you leave numerous messages before receiving a response? Is there billing handled by an instructor? Or does the firm have a dedicated accounting department? Using a company that is dedicated to a client's needs and expectations will ensure that the all program details are accounted for in advance, and that the training sessions run smoothly.

Step 3: Choose a Company That Employs the Appropriate Instructors

The company that is hired should have an instructor base that is large enough to accommodate all of the client's needs. For instance, if an owner wants to train 23-30 employees, the company hired would ideally have at least 4 instructors available. This enables the client to opt for training sessions on a single day, and typically results in a wide selection of date options.

The instructor/student ratio should be small, to ensure that each student receives enough individual attention to thoroughly understand the information. The American Heart Association, Red Cross, Military Network, Medic First Aid, and ASHI each offer certification programs for instructors. However, each organization imposes different requirements for instructor/student ratios. Thus, it is important to know where an instructor has received certification, and to understand the guidelines that this trainer must follow. Scheduling availability is also an important part of the decision making process. Choosing a CPR training company that only provides classes one day a week can be undesirable if multiple sessions are needed.

It is important to evaluate the level of knowledge and expertise of a service provider's instructors. CPR guidelines are frequently updated with improved methods. Thus, it is important to have instructors who are familiar with current information. It is easy to become a certified first aid and CPR training instructor, and many companies who employ staff members with limited knowledge or field experience. However, many companies have instructors who work directly in the medical field as EMTs, critical care nurses, or physician's assistants. Since these individuals have first hand experience in handling medical emergencies, they will be highly qualified to answer any questions that a group may have. While this seems like an obvious factor to consider, it is important to reiterate the importance of working with those who have actually performed CPR in emergency situations.

Will the instructors insist on using their own equipment? Or are they comfortable using what their client company has available on site? Having employees learn life-saving techniques on equipment that is not available at your company is virtually useless! A good instructor is comfortable working with what is available, and will even insist on it.

Establishing CPR and first aid training programs and safety procedures is in high demand for businesses today. As regulations become increasingly standardized, it is imperative for all companies to train and empower their employees on the practices of life-saving emergency techniques. Utilizing these above-mentioned tips in your search for the correct provider can help alleviate some confusion, and help you make the best decision for your company's CPR and first aid training needs.
About the Author
Christine O'Kelly is an author for Annuvia, a leader in the corporate emergency response planning industry offering customized workplace CPR training and corporate AED programs.
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